It is clear people in 2020 cannot handle the PvP system of the past. Actaully, what the real problem is, is that we have cross-realm BGs with the old PvP system. This is something that Blizzard is not going to reverse it seems. The only solution to this is the pre-patch Honor system, where you hand in your honor points for gear.
This can be tweaked to whatever the developers see fit, it can easily be made to be similar to the time required for rank 14, but the only change would be the lack of decay and the requirement of having to constantly play or losing ranking. One can spread their rank 14 grind out from the time span of 3 months to 2 years if they want to. The 3 months would = playing 20 hours a day, while 2 years you can do with like 2 hours a day. The point of this is that the time required is still the same as the usual rank 14 grind, but you just don’t have to do it all at once.
This will definitely open up battlegrounds to the masses, which will make the PuG to Premade ratio much more sane and how it should be, if we want Classic to survive. We have to remember that Classic is only alive as long as casuals are still playing day to day. One should not have to sacrifice their real lives in order to get mediocre gear, with no option in between. They also should not have to gather 10-15 other people just to play a BG for fun.
The current rank 14s have no basis to complain if this change ever went through, as they all pretty much did no PvP to get their rank 14. The only time there was true PvP was during the wPvP phase, which Blizzard sadly cut short by a long time… we would have been in the wPvP phase until today and the r14s would have been legitimate players who got their gear through real PvP effort.
Now, the rank 14s got their gear from PvE in AV premades, or AFK botting/acc sharing. There was never any real PvP or effort from them, so there is no basis to complain that it would become “easier” with this change. Also, this change still requires the same amount of time played anyways.
This is in my opinion the only valid solution to fix WoW and it would bring back MANY casual players and keep other players from quitting the game and turning it into a ghost town.
The time requirement if made properly will not let people get rank 14 gear for free, as it still requires minimum of 3 months of 20 hours a day /played (if implemented properly) so you would not see people with rank14 gear who are playing casually for at least a year. If they get it in 3 months (phase 4, possibly 5) then they would have got it even faster anyways with the current system, so there is absolutely no affect to the PvE progression if implemented properly and at this moment.
Developers, please consider this idea seriously as i think it will save Classic.
edit: I would like to add that the gear system would be progression based, so you are forced to but the blue boots+gloves first, then the chest, legs etc… all the way to the weapons at last once you have unlocked all the gear. Then for each weapon you would need to buy it separately with honor. This would really make it equal or even more time consuming than the current grind, but it would let it happen over time therefore being much MUCH better for the health of the players AND the game.